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Bakken Monitor – March 2017 The Million Barrel Question

Most LTO companies are targeting 1 million boe average ultimate recovery. Can they do it? North Dakota's oil production crashed to 942,455 b/d in December from 1.034 million b/d in November (a record -92,000 b/d m-o-m) as harsh winter weather shut in wells, well below our forecast. We forecast lower production in January reflecting statements by North Dakota’s government that poor weather continued. If all of the shut-in production returns in January, however, we may see production slightly above 1 million b/d. Exxon indicates a shift towards shale production, committing a third of its 2017 capex budget to the Bakken and Permian while targeting 20% compound annual boe production growth through to 2025. We revise our US LTO forecast upward based on company reports that see capex budgets up 40% on average. We see total annual LTO production flat y-o-y, rising in line with the IEA’s forecast of c. 500,000 b/d December to December, counteracting 2016’s decline. Continuing last month’s examination of decline rates against cumulative production in the Bakken, current evidence strongly suggests average EUR of 1 million boe/well is unattainable.

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